Making Memories While Preserving the Past
The ever-changing nature of the water and the joy she feels as she sails upon it are anchors for lifelong Lake Lotawana resident Diane Harriman. Breezy Point, the classic green-shuttered home where she and her husband Jeff Harriman have resided since 1980, has become a docking point for family and friends to relax, enjoy watersports and make cherished memories.
The southern colonial home, positioned on the bend of the ‘L’ in Lake Lotawana, offers a panoramic view of both legs of the lake. On summer weekends, the Harriman’s recently enlarged patio or expansive green lawn are ideal perches for viewing regatta races or July 4th fireworks on the lake.
“It’s a very relaxed and casual barefoot atmosphere we enjoy here,” Harriman says. “We’ve appreciated the outdoor adventure the lake offers.”
The Harrimans have undertaken three major renovations of Breezy Point in the 30-plus years they’ve lived there. Additions have expanded not only square footage but also character and a sense of the family’s playful personality and creativity.
More than 25 years ago, Diane handed her three children markers and asked them to create a mural for the bathroom renovation. The children’s marker sketches of lake life were then transferred onto the white tiles that adorn the downstairs shower today. Six years ago, a renovation widened the garage, added height and additional space to upstairs rooms but also included secret hiding nooks for the enjoyment of the couple’s eight grandchildren.
Meanwhile, the couple has been careful to preserve the original feel of the home. They have worked with the same architectural firm for all projects, referring to original home sketches and blueprints for reference, as well as working with Greg Smetanka Construction on all 3 remodels. Additions incorporate materials commonly used in the 1930s, such as the vaulted knotty pine ceiling in an upstairs bedroom and soapstone counters in the kitchen.
In 1939, Charlie Daniels lived in the boathouse on the property while he built what he intended to be a summer relaxation spot for friends and family to relax by the water. Daniels’ original Breezy Point dock sign now adorns the street-side of the home above the garage, and the sailboat emblem still hangs in its original position facing the lake.
When the Harrimans moved into Breezy Point in 1980, they removed the jalousie windows in favor of floor-to-ceiling windows on the lake side of the home “to bring the outdoors in.” Their architect also re-exposed the columns on the lakeside of the home, revealing an original design element that had been hidden by previous owners.
When they renovated the garage several years ago, they re-incorporated the original scallop wood trim above the doors. During an entryway renovation, the Harrimans were planning to tear out the knotty pine buffet in the casual dining area in favor of a coat closet for their new entryway, but couldn’t bring themselves to do it.
‘We had the crowbar up to it and were getting ready to rip it out but we just couldn’t,” says Diane. “We still don’t have a coat closet.”
It is this sense of measured restraint — fully living in the present while carefully honoring the past — that make Breezy Point the inviting lakeside home it its today for the Harriman’s family and friends.